Iraq : India evacuated 17 more of its nationals from Iraq …

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New Delhi: India has evacuated 17 more of its nationals from the conflict zone in Iraq, while 39 Indians remain in captivity in Mosul, northern Iraq, though they are said to be unharmed. New Delhi also issued a fresh travel advisory on Tuesday asking those of its nationals not affected by the strife in Iraq to leave the country by commercial flights if they want to.

The advisory said, “Due to the uncertain and difficult security environment, Indian nationals in Iraq are again advised to remain indoors if they are in conflict-prone areas, and to leave the country on a voluntary basis by commercial means in areas where it is safe to do so.”

It further advised Indians to refrain from travelling to Iraq until further notice, while noting that airports in Erbil, Baghdad, Basra and Najaf are reported to be operational now.

The 17 Indians evacuated from danger zones are said to be in Baghdad. Those still in conflict zones, besides the 39 in captivity, have been asked to stay indoors as far as possible. They include 49 Indian nurses stuck at a hospital in Tikrit, another town that has been taken over by the jihadi outfit ISIS ((Islamic State in Iran and Syria).

The external affairs ministry clarified on Tuesday that the 39 Indians in captivity are not hurt or harmed.

The government is also in constant touch with the 46 nurses in the Tikrit hospital. The MEA said that Indian embassy officials along with Iraqi officials are setting up a joint committee to help those Indians who want to leave but are facing difficulty due to immigration problems.

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